Microsoft has been working on an Explorer app with a flatter design and a clearer structure for years. But nothing really has been going forward for a long time. The Explorer alternative Files shows how to do it. Microsoft should learn a slice of this free Explorer app with a stylish design and practical features.
Opinions differ when it comes to File Explorer in Windows. Some want more power features, others prefer a cooler design or faster copying processes. What has already been forgotten: Microsoft has been hiding a file explorer app in Windows 10 since the Creators Update. You can activate the stripped-down file manager with the appropriate shortcut, but don’t expect too much from the app, it is not really useful even under the latest Windows 10.
Files (formerly Files UWP), a free Explorer alternative that is also available from the Microsoft Store, does better. It combines a chic design with nice detail functions. Microsoft should take a look at something here or buy the developer’s open source app and integrate it into Windows 10. Now it is Version 1.50 released, with support for alternative designs and the possibility of pinning individual folders in the start menu.
When apps on Windows compete against the classic programs, two things are usually certain: the classic ones have more features, the apps look much nicer. This is also the case with files, because the software is really chic, comes with light and dark mode, minimalist icons and a clear structure. On the left in the bar there is only the main directory, recycle bin and drives to be seen. OneDrive and other cloud storage devices will also appear there, for example.
An acrylic effect can be switched on for the sidebar, although we like the design without it almost even better. Since Files largely dispenses with colors, nothing distracts from the content, i.e. from files and folders. Earlier versions were sometimes very sluggish when opening folders, a lot has happened here and Files usually works faster. But there is still room for improvement here.
Well thought-out functions
The developer says that he sees an Explorer in Files as it should be for him. It is impressive what you can do on a small scale, because the basic functions are all implemented. For example, all drives are integrated, there is a link to OneDrive and a display of recently used files. There are also tabs, so you can edit many folders without cluttering up the desktop.
Users can navigate through the file hierarchy using simple buttons, current paths can be easily copied and elements can be pinned for faster access. If you want, you can simply open the selected folder from Files on the command line. But not all settings are working perfectly yet: For example, the search can take a little longer and the back button in the settings often has to be clicked several times until something happens.
Please do it Microsoft
A one-man show at Files shows the global corporation Microsoft how to develop an Explorer app. Please take a closer look, Microsoft – or hire the developer, because he understands what a modern Explorer should look like. Chic design, incorporate the most important functions and always keep the whole thing nice and clear. If the software then opens folders a bit more jaggedly, you can hardly get past files.